Drama and adventure movies and TV shows are the most heavily pirated worldwide, according to data from digital platform security specialist Irdeto. The popularity of big budget drama series has exploded in recent years, with many subscription-only channels featuring snapping up the most successful. The fact that many series are only accessible legally by paying a fee will have had an obvious impact on piracy figures. Time differences between broadcasts in the US and the rest of the world also mean that viewers may be tempted to illegally watch the most-talked about drama shows before they hit their screens at home.
From August 2014 to August 2015, Irdeto found that titles such as House of Cards and Mad Men received the most illegal downloads, with the dramas grenre as whole accounting for 30 per cent of the total illegal downloads. Following drama’s lead, adventure titles like Black Sails accounted for 26 per cent, crime titles like Homeland at 23 per cent, action titles like Spartacus at 10 per cent, comedy titles like The Big C at 9 per cent and animated at 2 per cent of total downloads tracked. Illegal downloads for horror, reality and gameshows accounted for less than a per cent of all illegal downloads tracked, respectively.
“Tracking piracy by genre can help content owners and distributors take advantage of unmet consumer demand and make better decisions about how to package up content and services in different regions,” said Rory O’Connor, vice president, services, Irdeto. “Piracy can inform market strategy for which content to make available, in what regions that content will be well received, how soon to release it and at what price point.”
Irdeto also investigated which regions showed heavy illegal download activity within different genres. The data showed that piracy activity across all genres occurs most often in Brazil, France, Spain, the United States, Russian Federation, Australia, Italy, Canada, UK and the Netherlands, accounting for 56 per cent of total downloads worldwide.
Spain accounted for the largest percentage of illegal downloads for titles in the drama and crime genres, Russia for the largest percentage of illegal downloads in the adventure and action genres, Australia for largest percentage of illegal downloads in the comedy genre, and the United States for the largest percentage of illegal downloads for titles in the animated genre albeit a low percentage overall.
“The increase in pirated TV content has caused pay-TV operators to rethink the way they deliver content. We’re seeing a rise in providers offering online-only options due to customer demand for a la carte content and not wanting to pay for bundled services,” commented O’Connor. “It will be interesting to see how this continues to shape the industry in the next five years as the model shifts to a demand-driven offering.”
Irdeto Consumer Insights are gathered by tracking BitTorrent and peer to peer downloads. The company focuses largely on those services competing for the ‘additional consumer dollars’ beyond basic subscription packages. Piracy data and Irdeto Consumer Insights reports cover the most popular TV shows from pure OTT operators like Netflix, versus premium broadcasters like Showtime, and broadcasters with syndication deals with the pure OTT operators.